Tuesday, 25 October 2016

So long, Blogger!

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED.



This day is finally here...............
Been wanting to move to Wordpress for quite a few years now but didn't do it earlier cos shifting my whole blog to another platform is troublesome. The major reason I wanted to move to WP is their password protected post feature. I loved that and trust me I've been waiting for years for that. It's not a very tough feature to add on isn't it! But Blogger just wont catch up zzz. I loved how Blogger is neat and simple to use which made me very reluctant to leave. Moreover, I've been with them since June 2008! That's a pretty long time hahah.

Eight and half years of blogging..pretty big deal to me and I take it very seriously haha. I've gotten so used to Blogger. Their templates and themes are much easier to customize although WP's themes are prettier. Over the years I've been discovering little features of both platforms but what made me decide to move for good is that the Blogger app just mysteriously disappeared from the App Store. I was pretty frustrated cos I've been using the app since 2013. It was very convenient to post up my sudden thoughts or feelings to the blog without having to do it via laptop, Now it's gone and I have a feeling that Blogger will close down soon hahaha.

I just finished an exam today so I spent my whole night shifting my blog hahah. Checked out the WordPress app on iOS and it looks super cool and easy to use!! Like you can upload multiple pictures at once goodness gracious I've been uploading it one by one with the previous Blogger app. But what I don't like bout WP is my blog post won't state the time I publish the post. I don't like that!




I've shifted to yeepeikiew.wordpress.com

I couldn't think of a better link for my blog already hahaha. Wanted to put kiewyeepei.wordpress.com but guess what? It's taken...by myself many years ago hahaha. Deleted the blog but WP has this policy that the same address can't be used more than once even if the site has been removed. -.- 

And if you are wondering what's poisonsandwine, I used to love the song Poison & Wine by The Civil War very much back in high school. Added 's' to poison cos poisonandwine.blogspot.com was taken hahahah. I am not sure, is that a grammatical error???

Facts bout this blog:
1) There are 1207 published posts since June 2008, this is going to be the 1208th.

2) 112,050 views since January 2012. About 1900 views per month hehe. But I think there are a lot of bots la especially these two weeks! Same amount of views daily from France wtf. 

3) 632 comments since June 2008 - including the comments posted by me.

4) Amount of blog posts each year: 
- 2008 (34)
- 2009 (83)
- 2010 (38)
- 2011 (140)
- 2012 (170)
- 2013 (132)
- 2014 (250)
- 2015 (211)

Thank you for the fun eight years blogging experience, Blogger. 
I have shifted all my posts since 2008 to the new WordPress blog. Will not update this blog anymore!


CLICK HERE to my new WordPress blog hehe.
I feel like  I am writing annoying advertisement banner trying to create a click bait hahaha.

foreverforyou-emorain.blogspot.com - 2008
bemuscularlikeme.blogspot.com - 2008-2012
poisonsandwine.blogspot.com - 2012-2016
yeepeikiew.wordpress.com - 2016-

Sunday, 23 October 2016

einmal ist keinmal

I can hardly find excuses to feel dejected for anything in my life right now ever since I've read Victor Frankl's bestseller, Man's Search For Meaning.
Not because it motivated me in any way but because of this theory of his - logotherapy. 
If Victor Frankl survived Holocaust, I don't want to not survive through my pool of problems that are probably just 1% of Frankl's sufferings. I am ordinary, but to search for a meaning to live does not require skill, that makes me having only one excuse for my failure - i am weak.

But i am not. I cannot, and will not fail.





tonight, I rekindled the burning passion in me.


I can do all things through Christ me, myself and I who strengthen myself.

Long Semadoh, Lawas. 11/7/16- 17/7/16

Today I am going to lead you through my amazing 7-day journey in Long Semadoh in Lawas, Sarawak back in second week of July. (Read on if you wanna know how i got my first marriage proposal....)


Impian Msia has two departments - the infrastructure team(we called them JKR - Jabatan Kerja Raya) and education team. I was interning with education team. Since the work they do is very unalike, they don't usually cross paths. I didn't think I would do anything JKR related or even meet the staffs from JKR team at first. But in my very first project during my internship in Long Sukang I met 4 staff from JKR team out of the seven precious, dedicated staff they have. My education team colleague, who has been with the team for six months, told me that I am so lucky cos she never had the chance to work with them or even meet them. I was pretty lucky - all 15 staff of the Impian team are wise as hell and have bunch of stories behind the work they do.

I still remember that one afternoon in Long Sukang after we sent off our volunteers we were sipping kopi in the ''kampung starbucks''. We - my four Edu team colleagues and four JKR team colleagues(who were the pioneer staffs of Impian). One of the big four, Zi, asked me what kind of changes would I want for the kampung people.

I didn't think it was a hard question. Something along the lines I said :''Aside from education levels,I would wish to change their living condition I guess.''

''What kind of living condition are you talking about?''

''I don't know. The facilities in their home?''

''Like what specifically?''

At that time everybody was just listening to our conversation. I have started my internship for merely 10 days at that time and still was not close to them. All of them were staring at me waiting for my answer and I was so nervous. They were all above 30 except for my edu team colleague Apek. I felt like their life experiences are so rich so they are all ready to judge a small fry like me hahah.

''Like..like their toilets? or shower?'' (most kampung homes has only a hole as latrine and no shower hose, they shower using buckets or go to the river)
''What else?''

Oh god.

''Um.......concrete houses?''


''Ok now that you are part of us, you cannot think like a city person. People from the city always think that kampung people need this and that but have you guys thought bout whether do they really need those things or not or they are just things that you city people need? I can tell you that, the kampung people are the most resilient people. They can build life from nothing and their basic necessities are different from ours. City people think that these people need proper facilities like toilets and showers, but that's not what kampung people want. Why would they pay for water when they can get it free by the river? Why would they want a toilet bowl when they are most comfortable squatting? Remember this, if you want to help people in the rural areas, you must first think like them.''


I was left speechless for awhile. I never thought of things that way.


That short coffee session in kampung Starbucks changed the way I see many things. I was so honored to hear all my senior colleagues speak bout their experiences in life and what made them give up their professional career. I was surprised to find out each of their former occupation cos they were all professionals. Zi was an actuary in Singapore and once I heard him saying that his current pay in Impian is one fifth of his previous pay.

With them I felt so young. They wouldn't stop talking about how young I am and mused over their past when they were still at my age. That made me slightly sad and happy at the same time - I discovered the life I love at the age much younger than them.

At that time I've decided to join them for their upcoming JKR project but because I belonged to the edu team, I had to ask my edu team boss if I can take a week off from my edu work. I got the green light only slightly more than a week before cos my boss was very reluctant to let me go. But sooooo glad she did later on cos this project impacted me deeply.



I flew to Lawas right after my third edu project in Pujut Corner, Miri.
That morning on the 11th of  July 2016, saying goodbye to the villagers and kids, then to lunch with fellow volunteers and my colleague dropped me off at the airport.

I wasn't excited for this JKR project then. I was extremely exhausted from my work in Pujut Corner and I really wanted to just sleep. I haven't slept in proper bed too, was sleeping on the floor in pujut oh god my back ached so bad.

But yeah, flew to Lawas in the afternoon and Zi picked me up and another edu team colleague Cheng, who flew from Sibu. She just ended her edu project as well.

Arrived in Long Semadoh after 4 hours bumpy car ride. I slept through the journey cos I was so tired hahah. Didn't think much of the place at first cos it was night time and I couldn't see anything but I was shocked by how beautiful my host family's home was!!!!

The village was so secluded and disconnected from the outside world that everybody relies on walkie talkie to communicate. So by 9pm our two JKR team leaders Zi and Yong Ling gathered all the volunteers for briefing. We were a team of 14 people - Zi and Yong Ling, Tony Pua's secretary-  ChingWei who came to this project as mediator, two edu team staffs Cheng and I along with 9 other volunteers from West Malaysia.
I have been to a couple of projects but I was surprised to see how this bunch of volunteers we got was so young - with the oldest being only 26. All of them except one were guys, and all very good looking! Eye candy everywhere hahah.

Oh forgot to mention what our project was about. Taken from Impian's Facebook about our project -  ''
With their first PVC pipes laid in the 70's, the villagers in Kg. Long Semadoh has been facing water interruptions almost on a daily basis rendering 'first aid' patching work to their brittle pipes and malfunctioning system. Impian Sarawak brought in 11 volunteers to gotong-royong with the villagers to rebuild a new system that will give them a consistent and long lasting supply of water.''
So yeap, physical work!

Next day I woke up at 4.30am to see the sunrise. That was when I was left in awe - THIS PLACE.IS.BREATHTAKING.
With Cheng, Black, Yong Ling and I.
Black was a volunteer in a Long Sukang camp just a month before so we met again here in Lawas!


Does it look like GuiLin hahaha.



I do not like animals but these puppies ARE SO FUCKING ADORABLE!!!! They had lice all over them though.
The walkway to my house hehe PRETTY OR NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This place is the most beautiful place I've been to in Malaysia. 

My house!
We have a fireplace!! Long Semadoh is in the highlands so the water was crazy cold. I think I've mentioned this many times but I fall sick very easily if I shower with cold water, yes i am that pampered and weak T.T  But to be fair, the cold water was reaaaally cold :(
Anyways, I had to do it la and I tahan like mad on the first day, then I fell sick immediately fml. I think because I was very exhausted from my previous camp so I fell heavy sick.

I swear I fall sick in every project hahaha. I am too weak so if I am too worn out I'll fall sick. It was only the first day so I was really bummed out thinking that I would not be able to contribute much. So I did not tell anyone but so obvious la snot was coming out of my nose and my voice changed too. Again, I was showered with love for the entire week. T.T

My papa mama boiled hot water for my shower everyday!! Or I wouldn't have survived the entire week hahah.

Volunteers were giving me their medicines and insisted that I take it. T.T I was quite embarrassed cos I didn't bring medicines with me for my two months in Sarawak.
The villagers heard that I was sick and they tried to stop me from working wtf hahaha.

''Rikan dah cukup. Tak payah ambil, bagi mereka lelaki ambil.''

''Rikan rehat je. Tak payah kerja.''

''Rikan bagi saya beg kamu. Kamu duduk dan rehat.''

''Rikan tinggal di rumah, jangan naik bukit.''
(my Lunbawang name is Rikan, read here to know how I got that name!) 


T.T 
And I remained sick for the entire project. I was able to work though.
Kitchen.

Everynight my papa will connect his ancient Nokia phone to the player and play his songs. All his songs were 70s-90s english songs!! Our taste in music was similar so every night I'll listen to the songs with him. Sometimes I play it from my spotify as well. It's quite strange at first that we would just sit on the couch and enjoy the music without speaking to each other. Technically he's a stranger and not my real papa haha but oddly, it was a very blissful thing to do with him, especially after our long day at work. For this I've always believed that out of the four girls who stayed in his house, he adored me most :P
And also cos I am the most manja la always calling him papa papa when other daughters call him Bapa which was more formal. 

Oh my papa and mama have 7 children, all working/studying in the city so it was only the both of them at home.

Day 1: bringing all these pipes into the forest. Don't be fooled by how light they looked, they were terribly heavy. And we had to bring 40 of these in.
The easiest way - roll them out and pull. The journey to our destination was 3km which half of it was going uphill.



But first we passed by vast paddy fields. Goodness gracious Malaysia is beautiful. All my pictures here are unedited. 
About 20 villagers came to help out but they were mostly the elderly. You can hardly see youngsters here cos the youngsters are studying in the city and the able-bodied one are working in the city too, leaving only the very young kids or the older people. A very common sight in all the kampungs I've been to.

However, these old pakciks are mighty strong!! They even ran up the hill while pulling these heavy pipes. If I recall correctly, these pipes were 100m long and over 100kg each.

I honestly felt like dying on my first morning. Heck I found it difficult to even hike up the hill by myself, much less carrying pipes with me LOL. Most of the times I was panting like mad hahah.
However by the last day I was already able to make two trips up the hill without any problem hehe. The key was to do it slowly!





Me kepoh unloading pipes. hahha climbed up the truck to play only actually.



We stopped in the middle of the forest to have lunch. Our host families packed lunch for us soooooo sweet hehehe.

My mama's cooking was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good T.T And I ate so much throughout my time there cos everything was so good and that my appetite was much bigger from the work.

Rest stop!


hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.

My papa is the one in grey behind me :) 

Cheng and See Ming two soh poh hahah.


At the dam. 

The women in the village sayang us so much there were always so much food prepared for us when we got down.

The one with bandana is KC! A lawyer who quit his job to be a vagabond LOL. Serious though, about the quit his job part not vagabond la haha. One thing bout working for Impian is, I've met a good amount of people who were jobless, mostly by choice. Like my colleagues said, Impian collects lost souls hahah. 

We usually finish work at about 3pm. One day the master of storytelling told us stories from picture books!! Cheng has attended many storytelling workshops and if you do not think it is a skill or talent - all four of us adults were completely absorbed in those kiddy stories hahaha.


On the third day we got the news that one pak cik from our village passed away from old age. The team decided to have a halt in our work to respect the community.

''Community service is not about serving the community. Community service is about working WITH the community. If the community grieve, we grieve with them. When they are ready to work, then we resume our work. If we cannot finish our project, YongLing and I will come back and finish it ourselves. The goal has always been about the community, not the work.'' - Zi.

Community service was redefined ever since.

The entire kampung plunged into grief for two days. On the first day we tried to help out for the funeral. We were shocked how news quick the news spreaded and in one day, over 200 people came from different parts of Lawas and some flew in from Miri just to pay respect. The quiet Lg Semadoh was suddenly filled with people. 

The funeral was filled with good food. Probably the most inappropriate thing to focus on in a funeral HAHAH. I heard that they killed three buffaloes for the funeral. It was very eye-opening to have witness a funeral in a kampung. The people were sad but that didn't stop them from socializing and feast. They were all Christians so they strongly believed that the deceased is in god's hands.


The next day, after the burial and stuff, Singa from another village in Long Semadoh took all of us for a tour. There are seven villages in Long Semadoh.






This village was breathtakingly beautiful. 

The white house.

Cutiepies!!

Janganlah malu dik!

Singa's daughter, who shares the same name as I, Rikan. 


In one of the villages, Puneng Trusan. They are famous for their pineapples. Pineapples in Lg Semadoh were the BEST I've ever eaten. So so good!!!!!!!!!!! So good that I paid RM60 to poslaju back for my family hahaha. 

Black posing with pineapples.
Black(not his real name) took an excellent care of me in the entire project. I was sick but kiasu so insisted that I carry the materials(gravel, sand and stuff) into the forest. Truth is I struggled like mad felt like I was gonna faint all the time. He followed behind me the entire time although he could've reached the top way faster hahah. I hated how he kept following me just to make sure that I am ok cos it made me look super weak so I always sneak off HAHAH. Once I was alone in the woods I slipped and fell on my ass. It was fucking painful and I couldn't get up for awhile. Learnt my lesson after that and it was my turn to follow him everywhere he went HAHAHA.

Glorious pineapples.

Photobombed by KC.

She looks super unimpressed in all the pictures but please trust me that she liked me a lot ok hahaha. She's the one I mentioned a couple of times in my previous posts, we danced latin together and she was so happy hehe.

My dear Rikan.



It was a very lovely day I'll remember for a long long time. Worked so well with this bunch I only wished the project was longer.






The villagers were ready to resumed their work the next day.
We also had some silly fun after work HAHAH. That's Joshua and I! Don't know if you can see but I was wearing papa's futsal socks HAHAH. There were leeches in the woods so had to do some precautions. Joshua was bitten three times!

Joshua and KC.
Love this picture!!



 We used the baskets the villagers made to carry the stuff. 

Don't want to brag but I was carrying a bag of sand that's at least 12kg, up the hill! HHAHA. 
Not without feeling like I was gonna collapse anytime though.


My little cutie cutie babygirl Ruran!!! She's so cute and cuddly. So cute like a baby!!


Joshua is creepy haha.

The big field we played futsal at on the last day. So fun T.T 

On our last night here the kampung gathered at someone's house and we had a great dinner!! We did not complete the project so I was a little disappointed. But its okay!


Baby girl.


Look at the feast! YUM T.T

The village gave each of us a packet of rice. Their rice, beras adan was really good. A result of the temperate weather, rich and fertile soil. 


Group picture! Self timer haha



Team impian:)



From left: CW, papa's sister, mama, papa, me and SeeMing.

Papa's sister cutting pork ribs T.T soooooooooooo good.

These guys worked hard grilling all the meat for us hehe.

Ok with this pic I want to share to you guys an important milestone of my life.

I.............

got....

my...

FIRST MARRIAGE PROPOSAL HAHAHAHAHA.

Ok so during the course of the week the villagers wont stop telling me to consider a guy named Clan. He's the guy in red. I noticed him since the start cos he's one of the rare young men in the village and also that he's very handsome LOL.
So during our last dinner, he opened a pack of rice wrapped in banana leaf and put it on my plate. Everybody was looking at me but I did not think much of it so I just thanked him. When I took my first bite, the villagers cheered and Clan looked shy. Then only they told me that when a Lunbawang guy opens a banana leaf rice for a girl means he's interested in her and if the girl eats it then means she feels the same way or something. HAHAHA I quickly defended myself saying I did not know bout it.

Thought they were joking la but the villagers wont stop making fun of me!!

When one by one the volunteers went out to receive the token of appreciation(the bag of rice), a random old lady came up and wore a traditional bead necklace for me. I was bewildered cos other volunteers did not receive the necklace. After that only I realized that the old lady is Clan's grandmother. I was told that she wore the necklace on me means her family ''booked'' me. HAHAHAHA.

My friends teased me so much. Kept telling me people here are rich cos they own lands and buffaloes hahah. Then I got to know that Clan's only 18 oh god NO WAY. I joked that he hasn't even hit puberty yet hahaha.

The morning when we were leaving, Clan's grandma, dad and mom came to send me off. Gave me more bead necklaces and bracelets. Telling me to come back and visit their Si Clan sometime soon and if I accept the proposal, they would give me three buffaloes as dowry HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA. I laughed and they very serious, told me other village girls receive only one buffalo usually but I would get 3. 

HAHAHAHAHAHHAA.

Told them I don't want to get married until at least 5-6 years later cos I want to study and work first they were so disappointed ahaha.

Yeap. Thats the story of my first marriage proposal.



I had such a great time with this bunch. All of us came from different backgrounds and different walks of life but all equally sincere in serving the community. 
The next day morning before leaving.

I miss you papa and mama.


You see my papa so sweet carried my backpack for me T.T He insisted to!! I love my papa so much. The night before he teared telling me he susah hati cos we were gonna leave next day. </3

So cute!


On the most right is Clan's grandma who gave me the necklace I am wearing! 


Haven't talked to this one in awhile. I hope he has found his path. :)

I did mention him a couple of times here didn't i?! 
I didn't click with him right away. He appeared to be very snobbish when we first met cos he won't stop blabbering about his medical stuff. Once it was only both of us on the way into the forest and we began talking.
I remember he started the conversation with :''So YeePei, what is a 21 year old girl doing here in a rural part of Sarawak?''
Then we talked bout life.

Clicked!

Didn't think that he would become one of the closest friends I made in Sarawak.


This is Werrend! 
We had to walk to another village to get line and he walked there every day after work without fail, even if he's exhausted as hell. All of us always tease him that he's a very clingy bf or that his gf is very fierce. On the last day we found out that it wasn't a girlfriend or anyone but he was checking stocks wtf HAHAHA.


Chin Aun :) he looks like edison chen isn't it!

Youngest in the group. SeeMing's brother. He's only 18!

Boey who is currently studying in Canada :) The most passionate engineering student I've ever met. 



Melanie! 


My love my love........

I miss attacking her with kisses...

The village came to send us off :'(


It was pretty emotional.

After sending the volunteers off, us the Impian staffs went to Long Sukang to visit our papa angkat!
MY FAVORITE T.T

FRIED TARAP WAS SO FREAKING GOOD.

Followed YongLing to another village nearby called Long Lidung. I was so tired that I slept in a stranger's house for 3 hours HAHAHAHHA.



Back home! Papa angkat loved stuffing us with so much food. 

My adik angkat, Ferra. Miss this cheeky girl.

Also visited WeiYing's previous host family hehe.



And visited my favorite girl Nathalia!!! I miss her so so much.

She is sooooooooooooo cute.

Nathalia's siblings.

Nicole and Norway. Norway is so fatty so freaking cute hahaha. I played fighting with him and he seriously went all out to hit me one wtf I was really scared of him when I see him running towards him ready to punch me hahahah.

Back to this peaceful place.

Most of all back to my baby aboh!!

I miss you aboh...T.T 

Going to church :)

In late afternoon we flew back to Miri.

And went to Grand Old Lady for sunset.

Zi, CW, Cheng, Yong Ling and Wayne.



After Long Semadoh I firmly decided after completing my studies in the states, whether or not I'll try to get a job here, I'll first go back to Long Semadoh and stay there for at least a month.
I think staying there for a month or two can release all the toxic in me hahaha.
That is the most peaceful place I've ever visited.


Two weeks after the project, two JKR staffs went back to complete it.
This was sent to our groupchat.
The water has reached the village. Sweet, sweet water.
Was so moved when I saw the pictures. Did not grasp the importance of water before this but knowing how difficult it is to get water supply after this project made me treasure it. So cliche isn't it hahah.


Phew finally done with this post!!
Not sure if anyone would read till the end since this post is awfully long and wordy but I just want to tell you that this place is important to me.(not because I got a marriage proposal there ok HAHAHAHAH)



Long Semadoh, I'll definitely see you again.



Love, Rikan.